Dr. Julian Adams, has accumulated a wealth of experience with over 40 years in oncology research, development, and leadership. Prior to his retirement in October 2022, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Gamida Cell (NASDAQ:GMDA), a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company working to develop cell therapies for blood cancers and rare, serious blood diseases. At Gamida Cell, Dr. Adams oversaw the successful approval of Omisirge® (omidubicel), the first commercial cell therapy for bone marrow transplantation. Prior to joining Gamida Cell, Dr. Adams was President of R&D at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he built and led the company’s R&D efforts, which resulted in numerous IND filings and development of small molecule drugs to treat cancer. Of note, he was instrumental at developing an oral inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), also known as duvelisib. In 2018, the FDA approved COPIKTRA (duvelisib, sold to Verastem, Inc.) for adult patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). Prior to Infinity, Dr. Adams served as the Senior Vice President, drug discovery and development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. In this capacity, he had global responsibility for multiple drug discovery programs, including the successful discovery and development of Velcade® (bortezomib), a therapy widely used for treatment of multiple myeloma. Earlier in his career, he was credited with discovering Viramune® (nevirapine) for HIV at Boehringer Ingelheim. Dr. Adams has also held senior leadership roles in research and development at LeukoSite, Inc. and ProScript.
Dr. Adams holds more than 40 patents has authored more than 130 papers and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Adams has received many awards, including the 2012 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize for his role in the discovery and development of bortezomib, the 2012 C. Chester Stock Award Lectureship from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the 2001 Ribbon of Hope Award for Velcade® from the International Myeloma Foundation.
Dr. Adams currently serves as Chairman at Elicio Therapeutics, and he is on the Board of Directors at Gamida Cell. He is also a scientific advisor at Stand Up To Cancer.
Dr. Adams received his B.S. from McGill University in 1977 and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the field of synthetic organic chemistry in 1981. He also received the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, from McGill University in 2012.